Why I Relay
AJ DEMARY | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Why do I Relay? The main reason I Relay, Cancer Sucks!
I got into Relay at the 2010 North Snohomish County Relay for Life. I decided to get into Relay because this was the first time my whole family would all be at Relay. I had always wanted to do Relay and after my first Relay my decision was clear. I had to do Relay again because how can you turn down the hope it brings?
I personally know a good-sized group of people that have either been affected by cancer and are surviving or have lost their fight.
More than 10 million people are cancer survivors in America. I would like to think in 10 years that the survivor rate will go up and the death rate would come crashing down. The only way that will happen is by people who care about making it happen. The way I am making it happen is Relay for Life.
Relay for Life is the number one nonprofit fundraiser in the world. There are hundreds of Relays in every state and it is held in more than 23 countries.
I like Relay because 100 percent of the profits go to American Cancer Society, mostly (60 percent) to research. The rest goes to help and support survivors. In my dictionary hope means Relay for Life. Relay for Life means hope for cancer.
Will you provide hope? Will you Relay? www.relayforlife.org/lakestevenswa.
AJ Demary is 13 years old in eighth grade at Cavelero Mid High. He is a second year Relayer. His team is Fight 4 Life.
My Reason to Relay against cancer
KIM DEMARY | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
I started my Relay journey as a chaperone for my daughter Alexia’s team. They said “Mom we need a chaperone for a 24 hour event” ok I thought. I must be the cool Mom. I had no idea that it would change my life forever.
I did not know what Relay was; I did not know it would touch me. I had no idea.
Alexia’s friend Kaitie was the team Captain I found out her Dad (Jerry) was also a cancer survivor. As I learned of Jerry’s journey I cried, as he walked the survivor lap, I cried. As I walked all night and looked at the lumnaria lit on the track in Jerry’s name I cried. I thought how can this man with a great family not feel sorry for himself and still give back? He has cancer and he is fighting, raising money and he looks normal. That’s when I decided that I would fight back.
That first year the team raised $5000. I thought if these kids, 14 years old can raise $5000 by themselves then I can do something to make a difference.
That next year I became more involved raising money, told people about Relay and how fun and amazing it was. While we did this, Jerry became sick again, he had stem cell transplants, lived away from home and couldn’t see his kids if they were sick. He danced with Kaitie at her “Sweet 16” party (he knew he would not make it to her wedding.) He made Kyler and Brady’s birthdays fun too. He came to hockey games with his sister in law and spent time alone with Errin his wife who he cherished. All with a smile on his face, while the cancer was slowly taking him away.
In June of 2009, a few days before Relay we all (our whole Relay team) and several hundred of his family and friends attended Jerry’s funeral. During all of this, the Relay team raised another $5000. That year we cried and cried and cried. I held a very amazing hockey player in my arms during the luminary ceremony as he cried remembering Jerry.
The teenagers are now growing older and are in their Senior year of High School. To date they have raised almost $20,000 and created several teams out of the original team members. They were 45 at last count. IF they can do this while going through everything they have, why can’t I?
During the time we lost Jerry, I also lost my grandfather after a 20 year fight with prostate cancer; I have two Uncles who battle with it. My dad has not yet had a scare but he gets checked yearly and my friends’ mom told her the dreaded words “I have cancer”.
I, Relay and fight so that no child regardless of age, (be it my dad, my friend or Kaite, Kyler and Brady) never have to have their parents tell them “I have CANCER” and I never want to see another child bury their parent.
I will RELAY for Life. Will you RELAY for a DAY? www,relayforlife.org/lakestevenswa
Kim Demary is the Event Chair for Relay for Life Lake Stevens. She has been a resident in Lake Stevens for 4 years. She has been married to Austin for 18 years and has 2 children Alexia, 17 and AJ, 13.